Monday, October 31, 2011

"Happy Hallowe'en!"

Tonight there will be so many little people out and about, going door to door with cries of "Trick or Treat!" Sometimes they are so small you wonder how far they will be able to walk! It is always so much fun to see them in their costumes and hear their shy, little voices. I wonder what characters will appear at our door....

 I always see loads of interesting Hallowe'en prints in the stores and never know what to do with them as I don't have any little ones at home to dress nor do I decorate the house any longer. But a friend sent a photo of her friend's grand daughter wearing the cutest little dress (smocked no less!) done in coordinating seasonal fabrics. The dress would be so easy to recreate but to top it off the little girl, Izzie, so just adorable.  

There is a "spot" of smocking in the CF with a little black cat. You could use the cat from the Hallowe'en Ball Leaflet, 'Cats & Bats' in the Atelier of my web site. I know it is a just little late for this year but the Hallowe'en fabrics will all be on sale now and you could start planning something for next year!!

While the east coast of the United States and Canada were being deluged with a surprise snow storm Saturday, here in southern Ontario we were blessed with beautiful sunshine. It was a bit nippy I will admit, but on our way to Oshawa for a dinner party, we spotted many a diehard golfer out catching what might be one of the last games of their season! 

Here is a sample of the colours still on the trees (on Sat.) in our backyard. We hold our breath as one day of good strong wind and these trees will be bare. We just hope that those who got all that snow and lost power will soon have it restored and have their lives back to normal.

So here is hoping you have a safe and happy night tonight! 
Till next time, keep stitching.....

Sunday, October 23, 2011


Fri. it was my priveledge to spend the day demonstrating in the booth for 'A Needle Pulling Thread' magazine. So many wonderful ladies who stitched for their little ones and those who want to stitch for their grandchildren stopped by the booth to share their experiences and dreams. It certainly gives one a lift and loads of inspiration.
 Here is Karen chatting with a couple of customers.
And here are two of the needle artists whose work has been featured. The lady with the dark hair, way over on the left hand side, is Carla, the heart and soul of the magazine! The pieces hanging on the back curtains are wither in the upcoming issue or the most recent one. Watch for the Festive issue which contains smocked Christmas balls to be released in the next couple of weeks.....
The Embroiderers' Association of Canada had a huge booth filled with the most intricate work! So many talented women!!
And here is my friend Lorna Rae of 'Blue Heron Stitchery' with just a few of the garments she made for the fashion show for the 'Sewing Workshop' pattern company. Lorna is a Custom Clothier out in Harrowsmith, ON just north of Kingston. She does incredible work.

The show was filled with wonderful booths and lots of people shopping their hearts out. I met up with a number of old friends that I had not seen in a couple of years and it was so good to hear what they all about what they were doing. 

Next spring the show will be back but out at the International Centre where there is loads of free parking! Mark the dates, April 27 & 28 now so you can join us there.

I thought that none of my photos of the mist on the lake at sunrise Thanksgiving weekend had turned out. But lo and behold when they were downloaded, look what was there!
The lake was like glass - not a ripple on it and as the sun rose the colours became more brilliant. One day I will take up my paint brush once again and try to capture some of this beauty on canvas.

So until next time, keep stitching......

Monday, October 17, 2011

Fall has arrived!

What a splendid Thanksgiving weekend we had here in Ontario! The temperatures were in the high 70's up at the cottage and we were stripped down to short sleeves for the outdoor work - chopping and stacking wood for the winter. 

The noontime turkey dinner all went well and instead of having a big meal in the evening we had a wonderful selection of cheeses, crackers and fresh fruits. The sunsets were glorious and the cool temperatures overnight lent themselves to a fairy-like mist over the lake in the early mornings. The camera or perhaps the camera person just didn't get the right settings to capture it all adequately.

So taking advantage of the beautiful weather the following week I chose to photograph the next set of adaptions to the Infant Wardrobe outside on the stone walk. I'd like to say it was 'dappled' sunlight not just shade which sounds so ordinary. 


It was the strawberry pin wale pique that inspired this set. The kilt and pants are from good "bottom weight" broadcloth. I used strips of bias cut pique to make the ruffles around the pockets and at the ankle to give them a playful look.

Then I added the same ruffles to the outer edge of the collar of the plain English Broadcloth shirt. The button placket was accented by a row of multiple zigzag stitching done with a triple needle threaded with red, green and red normal sewing thread. It tends to look like rick rack and is so easy to do!
Details make the difference and at the top of the back pleat I embroidered a little strawberry to act as the 'stay'. The collar, button placket and cuffs were edge stitched with red for additional colour.
Here is the back of the striped shirt. A bias-cut ruffle was used for the collar here and spot smocking added in the centre back and on either shoulder of the shirt front. Little strawberries were smocked and then a white border added. I cut the sleeves straight rather than tapered, lengthened them about 2" to allow for a ruffle and hem. Then they were smocked with two rows of simple two stem wave in white. I added little strawberries like the one on the plain shirt just above the smocking for another accent.

The shirts are interchangeable with the pants, kilt and jacket. Next job is to get these and more photos posted to the pattern on the web site.
I hope these photos will inspire you. I like to think of this pattern as the starting point for creativity. I'd love to see what you can do with this pattern!!

So until next time, keep stitching.....